Written by Cairn Guidance in partnership with the Dove Self Esteem Project
It was a bright, temperate December afternoon as Cairn Guidance staff and the 2018 Dove Self Esteem Project (DSEP) Cadre gathered for a two-day retreat. Our sight clearly set on success, we began the day by having the cadre learn about each other. This was not an icebreaker. This was a genuine effort to begin developing relationships amongst the trainers from across the United States who will be spreading the DSEP curriculum.
In order to engage and interest educators, it is important to help them understand the underlying core of Confident Me!, the body confidence education program for young girls and boys created by the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Is it credible? Is it successful and why? What is the ease of implementation? What does it cost? How is it supported? Cadre members enthusiastically listened as Jessica Lawrence, Cairn Guidance’s Director, modeled a presentation for educators or their decision makers. It was important for members to see the presentation in action.
Lights! Camera! Action! It was now their turn! Divided into groups, members were assigned one of the six Confident Me! lessons. Their task was to provide an overview of the lesson. After each group presented and during discussions, Jessica again supported learning by sharing additional tips and suggestions.
It was a great first day. Cadre members got to know each other, gained a better understanding of the research and evidence that supports the need and development of the Confident Me! program, had the opportunity to learn more about the lessons, saw modeling, and shared tips. Did I mention the energizers led by cadre members Danielle Petrucci and Heather Deckard? What fun!
This day was just the beginning…
The next day began with cadre members experiencing one of the program’s student activities, Find Someone Who… Members dutifully wandered the room with their list in hand, looking for someone who fulfilled any of the talents or skills listed. What they found was more than securing a signature on a specific line. They discovered incredible tidbits shared by fellow cadre members. They actively listened to each other, asked questions, laughed, and eagerly moved from person to person. This first-hand experience of the student activity was eye opening for many.
As the sun continued its trek, so did the cadre. In order for them to do their jobs well, they needed to fully understand their roles and responsibilities. It was critical for them to have a deep understanding of their purpose and how to navigate through the protocols set-up for their success and the smooth running of DSEP. It was also helpful for the newest members to hear from the 2017 cadre on their successes and learning opportunities.
Taking learning into their own hands, members rotated through carousels on professional development, conferences and virtual communication opportunities. They brainstormed and shared ideas on how to leverage each in order to reach educators and interest them in implementing the program. Pages of great information were generated and will be typed and shared. Today’s technology allowed participants to take pictures for immediate use, as they developed their year-long work plans.
The last session saw members rotating through three stations allowing for discussion, practice or strategizing. The richness of the discussions, enthusiasm in each member’s eyes, and commitment was palpable.
We are ready, prepared, and eager to help educators touch additional student lives in 2018. This retreat allows us to move forward steadfastly and with sure-footed purpose. To learn more about DSEP, visit the Dove Self Esteem Project. Stay tuned!